Luc Lafortune, the lighting designer for such Cirque du Soleil productions as “O” and Zumanity will be honored with the USITT Distinguished Achievement Award in Lighting Design. Lafortune has helped create Cirque du Soleil's intriguing productions for more than 20 years.

USITT's 2005 Conference & Stage Expo will have several strong connections to Cirque du Soleil. In addition to two sessions by Lafortune, the entire creative process and production cycle of Cirque du Soliel will be explored in a special session on Wednesday, March 16.

The Lighting Commission will host Lafortune at its special Distinguished Achievement Award session where he will share highlights of his design career, several of his design philosophies, and his thoughts on the lighting profession, with a focus on his work with Cirque du Soleil. That session is scheduled for 12:15 to 1:35 p.m. on Friday, March 18.

Rosco, Inc. will host a master class entitled Lighting with Color and Gobos, from 2:30-3:50 p.m. on Thursday, March 17. As Stan Schwartz of Rosco notes, “Perhaps no one has worked as inventively with color filters and gobos as Luc Lafortune.”

Lafortune's Cirque du Soleil credits include Saltimbanco, Mystère, Alegría, Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, Dralion, Zumanity, and , which recently opened at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He has also created lighting for performers and groups including Peter Gabriel, No Doubt, The Eagles, Gipsy Kings, and the Swiss circus, Salto Natale. His designs have earned him an EDDY Award (in 1998 for “O”), and he was named LDI's Lighting Designer of the Year in 1994.